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A WATCHUNG COMMUNICATIONS, INC. PUBLICATION The Westfield Leader and THE TIMES of Scotch Plains - Fanwood Thursday, July 15, 1999 Page 3

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Power Outages Strike Area; PSE&G Cites Heat, Increased Usage

By KIM KINTER

Specially Written for The Westfield Leader and The Times

WESTFIELD – Scattered power outages occurred throughout the area as a result of the heat wave that grippedthe Northeastearlylastweek.

Fanwood and Westfield experienced the most trouble, with Mountainside and Scotch Plains officials reporting minimal to no problems in their communities.

Mountainside officials reported no problems, while Scotch Plains police said a traffic light was out for about 20 minutes on July 6.

But Fanwood Borough Council President William E. Populus, Jr., said five streets in Fanwood experienced outages. About 15 houses on each street were affected.

The outages continued throughout the night, extending from approximately 6:30 p.m. to 5:30 a.m., he said.

Westfield Town Engineer Kenneth B. Marsh said that he got one call from Tudor Oval, but understood that there were other isolated outages in the town.

One area which was particularly hit was Boulevard, according to Jay Hershey, who lives on that street. Mr. Hershey said he was aware of a cluster of at least 20 houses that were without power from 9 p.m. on July 5

until 4 p.m. on July 6 and, again, on July 6 from 10 p.m. to July 7 at 3 a.m.

Mr. Hershey said that residents are upset because the street has had repeated power failures. In the two years he has lived on Boulevard, Mr. Hershey stated, there have been four power outages.

He said neighbors contacted the town and were advised by officials to talk to PSE&G directly about their problem.

Residents are circulating a letter to be sent to PSE&G officials, asking questions about why there are repeated power failures in their area and what the utility can do to correct it, he said.

PSE&G spokesman Fran Sullivan told The Westfield Leader and The Times of Scotch Plains-Fanwood that themajorityof outageslastweekwere caused by pole top transformer problems. A combination of the heat and increased personal usage tripped the transformers, causing a cluster of 10 to 15 homes to be affected at a time.

He did not have exact numbers of customers affected in the Westfield/ Scotch Plains/Fanwoodarea,butsaid a total of 105,000 customers were without power statewide.

He added that the worst problems werein EnglewoodinBergenCounty, as well as in Newark.

Procession, Fireworks To Wrap Up Festival Of Mt. Carmel Society

By KIM KINTER

Specially Written for The Westfield Leader and The Times

BERKELEY HEIGHTS — The Fourth of July may be over, but there willbe fireworksinBerkeleyHeights this week.

The Mount Carmel Society of Berkeley Heights’ festival and procession, which has been an annual postFourth of July event in the township for the last 90 years, will conclude tomorrow, July 16, at about 11 p.m. with its traditional and elaborate fireworks display.

Another, more modest, display of fireworks will also be held tonight at about 9 p.m.

Both fireworks programs will be held in the field to the rear of the Mount Carmel Society building at the corner of River Road and Springfield Avenue in Berkeley Heights.

Various rides, games and food will also be available tonight from 7 to 9 p.m., and tomorrow night from 7 to 11 p.m. In addition, tonight is Family Night, with “Ride All Evening Wristbands” available for $15 per person.

The fireworks display scheduled fortomorrow hasbecomewellknown throughout the area. It is put on by Garden State Fireworks of Berkeley Heights and Millington, owned and operated by the third generation of

theSantore family,accordingtoevent organizer Bo Bosefskie. The Santore family has provided the fireworks for theMount CarmelSocietyeventsince 1926.

Although best known for the fair and fireworks, the most important aspect of the yearly event to its organizers continues to be the traditional procession, which will take place tomorrow.

The procession and Catholic Mass that follows were organized by the late Mildred Venezia of Berkeley Heights in 1909, Mr. Bosefskie explained. She and a group of other women and family members organized the tribute to the Virgin Mary, whom they credited with guiding

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Enrollment Drive For VA Registration Deemed Big Success By MELISSA A. BETKOWSKI

Specially Written for The Westfield Leader and The Times

WESTFIELD — Over 150 of New Jersey’s bravest citizens came out Tuesday night to the Westfield Municipal Building Community Room to register for service and non-service connected medical benefits.

The enrollment drive, which was sponsored by Westfield’s Leonard J. Sanders Veterans of Foreign Wars Post No. 11467, “very well pleased” Bill Brown, service officer with the Westfield Post, also the primary organizer of the event.

“It was a good turnout,” Donna Henderson of the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) said. “There were asignificant numberofveterans(who

registered tonight).” Mrs. Henderson said that there are about 800,000 veterans in New Jersey, and only about 8 percent of those are registered with the VA. She said that the goal of outreach events such asthisis “toincreaseawarenessabout VA benefits.” Those benefits, Mrs. Henderson said, can include medical treatment, prescriptions, dental, eyeglasses and hearing aids, depending on the individual veteran’s eligibility. She said that there need to be more outreach sessions to continue to spread the word about the VA.

She also warned against spreading false hopes about VA benefits since those benefits are unique to indi

Diesel Cars Proposed By Transportation Bd. For Light-Rail System

By SUSAN M. DYCKMAN

Specially Written for The Westfield Leader and The Times

ELIZABETH — A cross-county rail link from Elizabeth to Plainfield would offer Union County residents an appealing alternative to county roadways and existing public transportation.

On paper, the proposal from Raytheon Engineers and Constructors forUnionCounty’scross-county light rail link from Elizabeth to Plainfield looks great — with seven stops west of Elizabeth at Roselle/ Roselle Park, Cranford, Garwood, Westfield,Fanwood,Netherwoodand Plainfield.

A cross-county rail link will simplify commuter access to Northeast Corridor trains and the Raritan Valley train line; and facilitate residents’ movement through towns across Union County to the new Elizabethport Jersey Gardens mall, to ferry service to New York City and to Newark International Airport.

The proposed three-stage project was designed by Princeton-based Raytheon which also created the Hudson-Bergen lightrailsystem.The firm’s affiliation with county officials was made possible by state legislation passed in 1997 that called for formation of public-private partnerships.

PhaseOne willtiemid-townElizabeth to Newark International Airport by rail. The 11-mile link would connect with Elizabethport, Lot D at theairport (wherethemonorailends), businesses at Interchange 13-A of the New Jersey Turnpike and midtown Elizabeth.

The proposed nine-mile Elizabeth to Plainfield link makes up the second and third phases of the project. Phase Two would connect mid-town Elizabeth to Cranford using the former Central New Jersey right-ofway. Phase Three would extend the line further west to Plainfield using NJ Transit property along the Raritan Valley line.

The Raytheon proposal for Union County, which calls for the use of electrified rail cars to transport passengers, was two years in the making.

Opponents of Raytheon’s plan for the Elizabeth-CranfordPlainfield link are quick to point to federal regulationsprohibitingelectriclightrail cars from sharing tracks with heavy rail — something they would

need to do (under Raytheon’s proposal) to utilize the existing Raritan Valley tracks that run west from Cranford to Plainfield.

Aresolution recentlypassedbythe Union County Transportation Advisory Board (TAB) stated: “...it is questionable that the Raytheon electric light-rail proposal would be extended west of Elizabeth to Cranford since no firm plans or allocations of resources are in place to do so, and it is highly unlikely that it would ever reach Plainfield since the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) prohibits the intermixing of light and heavy (NJ Transit commuter trains) rail on the same track with the same general time frame.”

“Federal regulations don’t permit light rail on heavy rail,” said Assembly Richard H. Bagger of Westfield (R-22nd). “That’s why public discussion on the issue has always been frustrating to me. It’s always been outside the realm of possibility.”

“What is an option is what the county transportation board has presented— adiesel,self-propelledtrain that could go back and forth between Elizabeth and Plainfield. That’s a real possibility, in connection with the light rail,” he continued.

Assemblyman Bagger pointed out that the light rail project, as outlined, is likely to go ahead in Elizabeth and the port area, and “That’s a good thing,” he stated.

The TAB’s resolution asks the UnionCounty BoardofChosenFreeholders to consider using NJ Transitoperated diesel, self-propelled cars (DMUs) that meet federal guidelines to provide one-seat service from Plainfield to Elizabethport.

Concerned that most of the focus and funding for the project is concentrated on Phase One’s Elizabeth to airport segment, the board is also recommending that Phases Two and Three (Elizabeth to Plainfield) be developed concurrently with the first leg of the project.

According to Phyllis Moore of Plainfield, the obvious benefits to using DMUs from Elizabeth to Plainfield are “it’s cheaper and faster.”

Ms. Moore, who said she was “removed” from the TAB in April, and Rahway resident and current TAB member Paul Mulligan appealed to Union County officials to consider

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Mtside Council to Vote Tuesday on New Pact For Cable Franchise By KIMBERLY A. BROADWELL

Specially Written for The Westfield Leader and The Times

MOUNTAINSIDE — The Mountainside Borough Council is expected to approve a new 15-year cable franchise agreement this Tuesday,July20, followingasecondreading and public hearing on an ordinance to enter into the pact.

The ordinance was introduced on first reading at the governing body’s June 22 council meeting. The existing franchise agreement, which has been in effect for the past 10 years, will expire in October.

The new franchise agreement will give Mountainside a 24-hour-a day public access channel, as well as access to the Berkeley Heights public

access channel. In the past, Mountainside shared its access channel with the Borough of Fanwood.

Other additions to the new franchise agreement include two new character generators, a type of computer keyboard, that will enable both the Deerfield Elementary School as well as Borough Hall to type announcements for broadcast on the new channel.

The new franchise agreement will alsoprovide freeinstallationandstaff training for use of these two character generators, as well as a waived fee for the borough’s Internet service.

In other business, the governing body is also expected to adopt on

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